Deal of the day overload: Take control of your inbox
When the deal of the day craze first started picking up momentum, I was all about it. I loved checking my e-mail every morning to see what sort of deals each site was offering for the day. A Groupon for a half-off manicure? Make me pretty. A members-only sale at Gilt Groupe for Marc Jacobs? Mine. A discounted surfing lesson on Living Social? Why not!
As these Websites became more popular, they started spawning microsites. For example, Gilt Groupe had Gilt Men, Jetsetter (for vacation packages), Gilt Taste (food and wine), and Gilt City (localized deals). All of these microsites meant even more e-mail notifications and thus more inbox clutter. I was getting e-mails for steaks I will never eat, vacations I could never afford and services (eyebrow tattooing, anyone?) I wouldn’t even suggest to my worst enemy. Instead of browsing all of these deals, my new morning e-mail routine was to delete them en masse—and shake my first angrily at my computer screen.
But there is a better way to deal with this inbox congestion thanks to a few free services from people who are just as fed up as I am with daily deal e-mails.
Leah Pische and her boyfriend Edwin Hermawan were also tired of daily deals clogging on their e-mail so they created a service to help other frustrated consumers. With UnsubscribeDeals.com, you can unsubscribe from e-mail blasts from multiple daily deal sites at once. Right now, the site is limited to only Yahoo and Gmail users and you can only unsubscribe from 12 sites. Those sites include LivingSocial, Groupon, Woot!, Daily Candy, Google Offers, Amazon Local, Gilt City, KGB Deals, Save, and Yip It.
If you’re nervous about missing an awesome deal, you can sign up to get a list of deals in a single weekly or daily e-mail. You can even tailor it to the types of deals you’re looking for, whether it is clothing, fashion, or vacations.
After you use the service, you’ll get an e-mail saying that it might take 7-14 days to get you completely off the radar of these sites. The deal site servers need some time to adjust to the unsubscribe request.
Unfortunately, the UnsubscribeDeals couldn’t completely cleanse my inbox from some of these sites. My Amazon Local and Daily Candy e-mails went away, but I’m still getting an abundance of Living Social and Gilt Groupe e-mails. The service is still fairly new so hopefully they will continue to update with more e-mail support as well as more sites to unsubscribe from.
Like UnsubscribeDeals.com, Unroll.me is only available to Gmail (as well as Google apps) or Yahoo e-mail users. You can enter your e-mail address, however, and Unroll.me will let you know when your client becomes supported. Next, you’ll have to give Unroll.me permission to access your e-mail account. Unroll.me scans your inbox and displays your subscription e-mails in a tidy list.
To unsubscribe from future e-mails from those sites, you click the minus button next to site name. You can also click the arrow button, or the “Return” button, to move a subscription back to your inbox.
When you’re finished editing, you click “View Rollup” to see a summary of your remaining subscriptions. Like UnsubscribeDeals.com, you’ll get a daily e-mail with a summary of the content from all of your e-mail subscriptions. Your subscriptions are divided into various categories, like Social, Shopping, Education, Deals and Rewards, and so on. You can specify what time of day you’d like the e-mail to arrive as well. Your Rollup is also available on the service’s Web interface where you can edit categories and unsubscribe from more sites if you so desire.
Unsubscriber by Other Inbox
This incredibly simple tool also only works with Yahoo or Gmail accounts. Like the other services, you have to grant the tool access to your Gmail inbox and contacts. After Unsubscriber scans your inbox, you’ll get an e-mail that informs you that your Unsubscribe folder is ready. It took about 15 minutes for my Unsubscribe folder to show up on my Gmail account. Once yours pops up, you can start moving your unwanted daily deal messages (or whatever else you want to unsubscribe from) into the folder.
Unsubscriber does the rest of the work and notifies the sender that you want to be removed from their list. Until that process is complete, any new mail you receive from that sender will be automatically routed to your Unsubscribe folder.
Other e-mail tips
In Gmail, the “Move to” button is your friend when it comes to tidying up your inbox. You can create a label for your daily deals (like, perhaps, “Daily Deals”) and then click “Move to” to transfer all of those unread e-mails to another folder. You can also archive your messages and search for them later. Archiving e-mails doesn’t mean deleting them—you’re simply moving them out of your Inbox and into the All Mail folder.
You can also create filters to automatically label, archive, delete, star or forward certain types of incoming e-mails. For example, you can create a filter that will send all messages from email@example.com to your dedicated Daily Deal label. To do this, you simply go to the “More” drop down menu at the top of your inbox and choose “Filter messages like this.”
Yahoo Mail also supports filters that will automatically sort your deals into a separate folder for you. To do this, you click the Options link from the upper-right hand corner of your Yahoo Mail page and select Mail Options.
I found that I had to use a combination of these services to take back my inbox from the clutches of daily deal subscriptions. It takes a bit of time to get everything squared away, but a clean and manageable inbox is certainly attainable.